Violent crime in Cambridgeshire rockets but commissioner insists that overall county’s crime rate is below national average
- Credit: Archant
Figures released today show Cambridgeshire had the largest upsurge in reports of violent crime of any police force in the country. In Cambridgeshire police reported a 38 per cent rise in violent crime in the year ending last September.
It puts the county above the next highest Durham (36 per cent) and six per cent higher than neighbouring Bedfordshire.
This compares to an average 16 per cent rise across the whole of the country, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
There has also been a big increase in the number of sexual offences in Cambridgeshire – up 55 per cent.
Police say the figures for Cambridgeshire have been “driven by specific strategic and tactical activity as well as a focus on the quality of our crime recording”.
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But there was good news elsewhere as the Office for National Statistics reported that nationwide there was an 11 per cent decrease in incidents of crimes against households and adults. It is the lowest since annual reports were first compiled in 1981.
Falls in other crimes were reported too including vehicle theft and criminal damage, down nationwide by 15 per cent.
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A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “The increases have been driven by specific strategic and tactical activity as well as a focus on the quality of our crime recording.
“The Association of Chief Police Officers has also offered reassurance that this is the case.
“We have also seen an increase in the confidence of victims to report crime in the county. This is in part due to communications campaigns alongside national media coverage of the importance of reporting historical sexual offences.
“Despite the increases Cambridgeshire crime rates remain lower than the national average for all violence against the person and in line with the national average for sexual offences.”
Police and crime commissioner Sir Graham Bright said: “I have made a commitment to keeping people safe and the constabulary has responded, targeting specific areas of crime. “This activity, along with a focus on the quality of our crime recording, has led to an increase in reported crime over the last year.
“By listening to victims and responding to people concerns we have seen the public become more confident in reporting crime and these figures reflect this.”
He added: “In spite of the increases Cambridgeshire crime rates remain lower than the national average for all violence against the person and in line with the national average for sexual offences.”